Galerita (Progaleritina) sp.

False Bombardier Beetle


Galerita (Progaleritina) sp., False Bombardier Beetle

 

Family: Carabidae

Subfamily: Dryptinae

Tribe: Galeritini

Length: 15.5 - 23.5 mm

 

The common name refers to similar-looking Ground Beetles that defend themselves by ejecting a spray of hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, in a visible cloud and with an audible pop.

These Galerita beetles are not entirely "false" when it comes to bombing. Galerita Ground Beetles also have a chemical spray, in their case composed primarily of formic acid—the same compound used defensively by ants.

The easiest way to separate False Bombardier Beetles from "real" Bombardier Beetles is that the False Bombardier Beetles have a dark head.

Photo locations (photo at right): Albemarle County, Virginia. Lower photo: the beetles shown here were photographed in the crevice between two Sugar Maple trunks in West Virginia in mid-April.

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American Insects site